The historic Queen Victoria Markets on the outskirts of Melbourne’s CBD has had its redevelopment request rejected by Heritage Victoria.
The heritage trading market is covered by delicate sheds which were proposed to be dismantled for the duration of the redevelopment, refurbished, and returned upon completion.
Nine News reported that Marcus Spiller from SGS (who conducted the business case), said that the market was “suffering incremental decline.”
“If we do nothing, the market will die… it will become [the] skeletal remains of a once vibrant place,” he said.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne disagrees, saying that the city council needs to work more closely with state bodies on the redevelopment. He wants the council to rethink its plan.
According to the City of Melbourne’s acting lord mayor Arron Wood, the proposed upgrade will bring a calculated benefit to cost ration of 5:1.
“Heritage Victoria's decision has blindsided us: they have not consulted SGS to interrogate the veracity of their assessments. The public have a right to see the business case upon which Heritage Victoria have made this decision, but this has been a closed door, bureaucratic process,” he said.
The market has not turned a profit since 2012 and will cost local ratepayers an estimated A$100m over the next 30 years if upgrades don’t’ occur.